Around the House · Musings · YouTube

One Thing Really Does Lead To Another

Around Here

I thought a great way to start a brand new year would be to take a look at some of the things/people/whatever that caught my attention and tell you about it.

Algorithms are interesting things. They bring to your attention things you never knew existed while providing you food for further research on things you are already interested in. Case in point, over on YouTube I’ve been made aware of a couple of people from very different parts of the world who are involved in home renovation and decoration projects.

NOTE: You can search YouTube for the name of each individual’s channel by copying the BOLD text and putting it in YouTube’s search box.

I’m not really sure how or where, let alone why Karolina Zebrowska popped up in my feed but I’m glad she did. This lady is from Poland, does a bit of travel, and has a passion for history. Oh, and she’s renovating a 1930’s era flat that she purchased.

I’ll be doing more research into her channel because what I’ve already seen is interesting. It is not quite the run of the mill anything.

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I’m a follower of DIY Danie. Danie has been working on her 1850 era Canadian farm house for quite a while now. Imagine my surprise to have Ariel Bissett pop up in my YouTube feed.

Ariel, also Canadian, purchased an 1860-ish home in Nova Scotia that she has been renovating in addition to her regular work which seems to have some research and review focuses. She makes some beautiful videos, providing interesting perspectives and information.

Both of these ladies are creating homes that reflect who they are, not the latest Pinterest craze. Each has a style and preference that is unique to them. Each provides me with some beautiful things to look at, ponder, and appreciate.

Consider this my invitation to you to check out their channels and see what you think.

Enjoy!

Musings

There’s Something To Be Said About

Seeing how the holidays are celebrated in other countries.

I grew up in the middle of Middle America. While many of our friends and neighbors came from other parts of the country, they brought their ‘old country’ traditions with them when they moved nearby. The same way my family did when they moved into the area. Those ‘old country’ traditions became the ‘old family traditions’ that were carried forward every year but somehow without the connections to the old country as they had with older generations.

Like the old story about the young woman who wanted to make Grandma’s Perfect Roast but had difficulty finding all the right ingredients and that all important pan. For years it was stressed that the pan was extremely important. After several frustrating searches, the young lady finally called Grandma and asked about the recipe. Turned out the pan wasn’t all that important after all; it was simply what Grandma had on hand way back when she first made the recipe and it was what she used every time she made it. It was the right size for the roast.

There is something magical about visiting other countries and seeing how they do, or don’t, celebrate. Don’t get me wrong, ‘visiting’ doesn’t necessarily mean travel, you can visit from your armchair in the comfort of your home, too. But taking the time to see the decorations, listen to the music, watch the processions, experience the food and drink (and here you could get really creative and try some recipes), all of this takes you out of the same old, same old that we often find ourselves experiencing in the midst of the Holiday Hoopla.

Thinking about food, it is interesting to discover where some of our favorite foods came from. They might be passed down in the family, but the origins could be quite surprising.

There’s nothing wrong with doing the same things every year, but if you want to take it up a notch or simply renew your joy of the season, it might be worth the effort to check out what other folks are doing.

FWIW, I still find it a bit … odd … that in Australia Christmas is in Summer. I know I’m not the only one, too. But I’d bet the Australians find it a bit odd that other folks celebrate during Winter. Come to think on it a bit, I grew up where it snowed and was cold during the holidays. Years later I moved to the West Coast. It was decidedly weird to have Thanksgiving Turkey and Christmas Roast when the weather was in the 70s.

Like so many things, it really is just what you are used to. 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Books · Media · Musings · TV

Why Do We…?

I’ve been pondering something lately. Have you ever thought about why we connect with certain shows, books, or characters? What compels us to keep up with series – be it TV, movies or books?

Some folks spend decades deeply involved while others can take it or leave it.

For instance, I’ve spent decades keeping up with a book series or two, only to walk away after all that time because, finally, something just…snapped. Either my patience with an author ran out or there was no real evolution or movement to keep me interested. Or both.

I’ve been a fan of a couple of TV series that moved into movies (or the reverse, come to think of it). During all the years of engagement, some more heavily involved than others, there have been things that kept me connected, interested, somewhat involved. One, in particular, has had a tremendous growth over the past couple of decades, resulting in some amazing expansion from the original kernel that started it all in the first place.

There are a couple of book series that have been moved into radio, TV, and movies over the years. Each iteration has been interesting. Some were carefully crafted to stay in keeping with the original works, others have veered in directions I’m sure the original author would never have imagined. Some worked, some didn’t.

At the end of the day, I’m still curious about why we stick around. I don’t believe the answer to the question is easy or simple. I think that each individual case is unique. Sometimes we outgrow an idea while other times the idea outgrows us. Sometimes the creator – or creators – can’t maintain the level of creativity that caught our attention to begin with. Sometimes we just really like spending time with characters in places that are familiar.

What do you think?

Audiobooks · Books · Musings

From The Reading Table: About Time

About Time by Jodi Taylor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Oh Boy!

I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve restarted this book. I’ve restarted it because I am loving the story and when I get to the end I want to go back and discover what I might have missed the last time(s).

I’m an audiobook listener. Between the great presentation and the amazing plotting, this book is fantastic. I really can’t imagine a better way to curl up on a cold day.

Team Weird has undergone some serious changes. The Time Police is having A Really, Really Bad Day. St. Mary’s is in the mix. And that experiment with Greek Fire might not have been the best idea but what can you really expect?

Jodi continues to astound me with her plotting. I have found myself gobsmacked more often than I care to count with this one. Just when I think I have a clue what is going on something shifts a bit – maybe just a teeny tiny bit – and everything adjusts. A lot. A little. It really depends.

Which might give you a clue as to what different characters are experiencing.

If you have been following along from the beginning of the series, this addition will be a joy. If you are new to the series, what’s keeping you? Jump in! From the beginning or you won’t understand all the bits and pieces. 🙂



View all my reviews

Around the House · Musings

Getting Back to Normal?

The kids are heading back to school soon. The weather is starting to head toward what the end of Summer usually looks like. In places. 🙂 Folks are starting to think about a change of pace that could either be a slow down or a speed up depending upon the kids in the household.

I don’t know about you but I’m ready to stop thinking about Summer Meals and start diving into some hearty recipes that are not only satisfying but tasty, too.

Granted the move toward Fall will take a while – my local weatherman is predicting 90+ degree temps in the coming days – but in the meantime it is a good idea to start checking the markets to see what is on offer, what fits into the budget, and what changes we might make.

The Holidays are also on the way and that will mean some extra budget planning, not to mention time planning, for those who are looking at gift giving.

Yep, we are heading back to Normal.

Yikes!

Around the House · Musings · YouTube

Bits & Bobs

Or the occasional odd thoughts that cross my mind.

Reached into my desk drawer recently and discovered, much to my surprise, that I had three – yes, three – tape measures inside. One for sewing, one all purpose, and one honking huge thing used by professional carpenters.

Note to self: Clean out the desk drawer and the tool box to make sure things are where they should be.

Yesterday’s snow was a lovely soft blanket that averaged 2.5 inches across my area. It was light and fluffy without any sleet or ice. So nice, in fact, that I was able to take my broom and sweep off the deck in front of the main door.

Today, thanks to blue skies and sun that is warming everything up, most of the white fluffy stuff is gone. 🙁

My daffodils are blooming and, having gone through two snow blasts within two weeks, are still hanging in there. Here’s hoping that they can bloom without experiencing any more of the white stuff.

I find myself watching lots of ladies on YouTube who have taken care with their manicures.

Some love a variety of colors and finishes while others are rather subtle. All are quite nice to see. Even if I clicked just to watch the project. 🙂

Sometimes you need to find a space that allows you to process all the ‘stuff’ going on outside in the world without doing damage to what is going on inside your world. To that end, in my house at least, this means quiet music, classic cartoons, and a touch of whimsy where applicable.

The outside world will continue with what it is doing all on its own. The inside world needs all the help we can give it.

Sending hugs to all who need them.

Musings

Odds & Ends

Time to catch up with film and TV.

Yikes!

I’ve been taking a look at my Roku channels and removing those I don’t watch. Oddly, there aren’t that many. I find I spend a lot of time on PlutoTV or YouTube. Yeah, surprised me, too.

I’m slowly getting back into series TV.

Over on AcornTV the return of Queens of Mystery (season 2) was such fun. The series is quirky. The mysteries interesting and I’m starting to see where the base “what happened?” mystery is being addressed.

Over on Paramount+ Star Trek Discovery has once again been pure joy. I’ve lauded the cinematic look and feel to the series since the beginning, but it is the writing that keeps raising the bar. To be clear, I’m not one of those nitpickers who would rather complain over the perceived error regarding [ fill in the blank ]. I’d rather sit back and enjoy a story that is well written, isn’t insipid, and treats the audience as thinking adults.

Yeah, I get a bit pissy about that. 🙂

Speaking of Paramount+, the ability to catch up with NCIS and Ghosts when I feel like it is great. I love watching these shows live, but when necessary to be able to not have to record them is great. If you’ve never set a recorder to capture a show that was pre-empted by a sports show and you ended up missing a chunk of what you wanted to watch… You don’t know what you’ve missed.

Ghosts has become such a wonderful success! Frankly not many UK shows can make the jump to the US audience and succeed. Ghosts is one of the very few and it is developing into Appointment TV.

Call Me Kat over on FOX is another of those ex-pat UK shows that moved to the US market. Season 2 just premiered and I am pleased to say that it looks like season 2 is going to be great.

I finally sat back to watch Being the Ricardos on Amazon the other day and was blown away. This Aaron Sorkin film looked at the relationship between Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz not Lucy and Ricky Ricardo. It has the full support of the family, too. Lucie Arnaz even posted a video talking about the project before it was released and stated that she was impressed.

The film is exceptionally well cast and the writing sharp. For those who take the time to notice, there is a lot of information about how a series is produced. The main focus of the film is the relationship between Lucille and Desi. Behind all the glitz and glamour, beyond the masks of characters, the story of these two people is compelling.

Oh, and if you are interested, Lucie Arnaz did a documentary based on her family home movies and interviews with folks who knew her parents. You can find it, Lucy and Desi A Home Movie, on Amazon.

Love Those Reruns!

I’ve loved BritComs for years. A couple have found their way on my viewing list once again.

‘Allo, ‘Allo is one of those Croft and Lloyd series that I once watched on my local PBS station, then found on Pumpkin FM. A bit silly, a bit farce, a bit tongue in cheek. Always good for a laugh. Click here for more information about the show.

Thanks to both PlutoTV and Hulu, I’ve been able to watch the Mary Tyler Moore show again. It is amazing how well the show holds up.

These are a few of the movies and shows I’ve been watching. What have you been enjoying?

Around the House · Crafting · Musings · YouTube

Starting The New Year

Happy First Wednesday of 2022!

Among all the get fit, healthy, slim, organized, up to date, etc., etc., videos and blog posts out there, I’ve found a couple that actually speaks to me and are relevant to my crafting/crafter’s journey.
You might find them useful, too.

On YouTube:

Just Get It Done Quilts is doing a 21 day de-clutter challenge. Now before you panic, these are easy 30 minute things you can do each day – with a time limit – so you can reclaim your sewing space.
They are practical ways to get back to doing what you love: quilting. Check it out.

Sew Becca is embarking on her 2022 get healthier journey by incorporating a quilt that will journal her journey. She is building upon an idea she learned from Scrap Fabric Love. Check out Becca’s videos for the explanation.
The beauty of this process is that it can apply to pretty much everything. So, if you want to track your water intake, the number of steps you make, the weight loss or gain, this could apply to you. Also (and the thing I find most amazing) is that the process does not limit itself to quilting. If you are a knitter, crocheter, quilter, painter, paper crafter, or whatever your jam, this process can be accommodated to you.

Sometimes it is the little thing that help us get back to what the life we want. Whether de-cluttering or tracking is needed, these are easy things you can do to get you where you want to be.

Musings

Here’s What I’m Thinking

As we step into 2022 I’m thinking about projects I want to embark on. I’d bet you are also thinking along those lines.

First Up: I have an accumulation (aka: Stash) of quilting fabrics that need to be used. Really, there is no point to having it if you aren’t going to use it, right? And, while I can agree that there isn’t a huge time limit, ‘later’ basically means that you spent money on stuff you don’t really plan to do something with.

With that in mind, I have had a set of patterns for a Block of the Month quilt from AccuQuilt that dates back to, I think, 2012 or so. They are lovely, easy to piece and would be a beautiful wall hanging, table runner, or quilt.

If you go to the AccuQuilt website, click on the Patterns link and you will find a wide variety of options. Or, you could simply click on these links. 🙂

I don’t know if they are still available, but I do know that there are loads of free patterns available – and every die comes with free patterns – so there are loads of options.

Second Up: I also have an accumulation of card making supplies that I want to spend more time with. There are lots of techniques I want to try out, too. While I did focus on replacing old ink pads and gathering cardstocks in 2021, this year I want to make use of what I have rather than buy more. Space is limited and, like fabrics, there isn’t much use in not putting thing to use.

Third: I’m looking (once again) to expand my meal options. There’s nothing like getting stuck in the same rut with the same meal plans, right? It seems to me to be time to experiment a bit and try new things.

I also have quite a collection of cookbooks, so there are thousands of options I can choose from.

What do you think?

Are you feeling adventurous? Are you thinking that you might want to dip a toe into uncharted waters and try new things, use up old things and make room for some unexpected accomplishment? Not to mention possibly getting a head start on holiday gifting?

Let me know what you are contemplating. And, no matter what, take time to spend time with yourself. Enjoy!

Musings

And Just Like That It Was Boxing Day!

Happy Boxing Day to those who celebrate even it if might just be a passing nod to the End Of the Christmas Festivities.

Not sure what Boxing Day is? Click HERE for an explanation.

In our house Boxing Day has become a day where we sit back, put our feet up, divvy up any leftovers and basically work to regain our sanity and composure after 4 to 6 weeks of Holiday Insanity. And we aren’t in that group who was up to their ears with shopping, wrapping, cooking, etc. They might need it more than we do. 🙂

Think of it as a type of recovery day, if you like.

Enjoy!